Hi. My name is Jacque and I have a problem with getting older.
I’m not as uncomfortable about it as I used to be, but I still have a long way to go before I completely accept it. I’ve always felt pretty. But, like many Single women, I worry about DWA (Dating While Aging). I mean let’s face it, my face and body continue to find new ways to betray me. And it is no fun to watch (although without my glasses, it’s not so bad).
Honestly, I wish was one of those women that look forward to getting older, especially considering the alternative. But I am normal and stand proudly with the many women who are secretly praying for someone to create a Benjamin Button pill. And working in TV, where how old a WOMAN looks really matters, doesn’t make it any easier.
That’s why I really wanted to watch Oprah’s recent special on aging gracefully. The show aired on Lady O’s OWN network and featured interviews with actresses Sharon Stone, 57; Cameron Diaz, 41; and 79-year-old body builder Ernestine Shepard. I was eager to hear something that would help ease my discomfort with getting older. And I did.
Cameron spoke about her disappointment in the pressure women feel to look young forever. “Like we are failures. It is a personal failure. Like [it’s] our fault that at 40 years old that I still don’t look like I’m 25,” Diaz said. Diaz believes women should not give in to that pressure but should do what we can to feel our best. Cameron has a new book, “The Body Book”, in which she encourages women to love and take care of their bodies. She stressed that if you don’t take care of yourself properly, then you will feel old. And who wants that?!
After seeing Sharon looking fabulous on the recent cover of Shape magazine, I had to hear her thoughts on aging. She admitted, at first, it was difficult for her to come to peace with growing older, especially as a woman, but she says having a sense of humor about it helps. She also said the key is thinking beyond the physical.
“I think to be the best you can be, we have to recognize that it’s an internal thing, not just an external thing. We have to have internal health and internal wellness. I think that’s physical health, mental health, spiritual health,” Sharon said. I can dig it!
Probably the most impactful moment for me came with the story of 79-year-old Ernestine Shepard. She talked about starting to train as a body builder in her late 50s. She said she became so fit that she did not need her high blood medication any more. Even Sharon Stone was blown away by Ernestine’s story and the elasticity of her skin all over her body. Ernestine is up at 2 a.m. to meditate, then she eats her egg whites and heads out for a long run, all before she heads to the gym. I want to take a nap after just hearing about her routine.
Ok, honestly I still feel crummy about getting older, but just not as crummy and that’s progress! The take away is that society isn’t going to make this aging process any easier for we ladies to accept. So we are the ones who have to change. I think we need to collectively embrace that it is not about looking young, but instead it is about being and feeling our best. I still have a long way to go. What I do know is that I don’t want to be so consumed with regret about getting older that I don’t appreciate all that is wonderful about my life journey. That seems like a great place to start.